Thursday, 28 Oct 2021

ChristianaCare, Highmark partner on tech-focused VBC venture

On Wednesday, ChristianaCare and Highmark Health announced a new collaboration they say will boost patient outcomes and healthcare affordability by removing excess costs from care delivery.

WHY IT MATTERS
The goal of the joint venture company is to match the two organizations’ respective expertise to develop a “new model of value-based care that is continuous and data- and technology-led,” according to ChristianaCare and Highmark Health.

They call the new model a “radical departure from the transactional, fee-for-service model that underpins much of American health care.

The first plank of the new collaboration is the launch of what’s being called the Solution Design Center, which will build out analytics technologies to help boost quality, streamline efficiency and improve consumer and provider experience.

The other component of is the creation of a new Center for Virtual Health to develop and deploy new telehealth capabilities for primary and specialty care, officials said, to improve access and outcomes while reducing the cost of care.

“The Solution Design Center is unlike anything out there, because it goes beyond what a leading health care system’s innovation center is typically able to do, combining expertise and data from both the provider side and the payer side,” said Dr. Ken L. Silverstein, ChristianaCare’s chief physician executive.

“This combination unlocks a holistic view that really enables us to see the opportunities and impact we can have on both outcomes and cost.”

The two organizations say they’ve committed to a 10-year collaboration, to be overseen by a board comprising leaders from both. But they emphasize that the joint venture is not a merger or an exclusivity agreement.

THE LARGER TREND
ChristianaCare and Highmark Health say they hope some of the innovations developed through the collaboration could eventually have a nationwide impact.

At first the biggest impact will be for patients in Delaware, where ChristianaCare is based and where Highmark operates a health plan affiliate. Those organizations began working together 2019, focused on a value-based payment agreement to improve care and wellness for Medicaid patients in the state.

The goal with the new joint venture is to make smarter use of data and technology – wearables or home monitoring, video visits, secure texting – to help create models of care that meet the health needs of the individuals between appointments.

Data-intensive care management is another key component, and ChristianaCare has been focused on it since the launching its CareVio platform in 2013.

Other recent initiatives include a 2019 project with Medtronic, focused, among other things, on tech-enabled interventions to address chronic conditions such as heart failure and diabetes.

For another virtual care project this past October the health system developed a new Alexa Skill for home health patients, enabling them to ask their smart speaker questions about prescribed medications, exercises and more. (Hear ChristianaCare CIO Randy Gaboriault talk about that and more in the video below.)

ON THE RECORD
“We are rethinking the way care is delivered and the way it’s paid for creating a new health care ecosystem that will enable better health and more affordable, accessible high-quality care that is continuous and data-driven,” said Dr. Janice E. Nevin, president and CEO of ChristianaCare,  in a statement announcing the new Highmark collaboration.

“This is a problem-solving company that will take cost and inefficiencies out of the system, aligning everything around what’s right for the patient,” she added. “It will enable much stronger, continuous connections between people and their health care providers, building lasting relationships, achieving health equity and creating health so that people can flourish.”

“Our two organizations have worked alongside one another for many years consistent with the traditional provider-insurer relationship, and we both saw the opportunity for innovation and progress by entering into a strategic partnership,” said Deborah L. Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark Inc., in a  statement.

“We believe we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of health care so that it’s more sustainable and delivers better health for the people and communities we serve.”

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: [email protected]

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